Marijuana has been in the news a lot this year. Prop 19 brought the legalization debate to the national forefront, even though it never had much of a shot at passing (despite our Governator's well-documented use during his former career as Mr. Universe). If anything, this much national discourse shows us how much things have changed since, say, 1930. But as this is a food blog, and the year is winding down, we decided to take a look back at the Top Food and Pot Stories of 2010.
8. The Daily Beast: Criminalize Coffee, Not Cannabis
Robert Rosenthal writes about the U.S. coffee culture, and argues that our addiction to coffee is our biggest drug problem, and that we should start turning coffee shops into marijuana dispensaries. While his comedic article may run a little pun-heavy, it also includes gems like, "More problematic yet is that caffeine is clearly a 'gateway' drug. You don't need fancy research reports to prove that a majority of those who innocently start their day with a cup of Joe inevitably move on to harder drugs. Like Prozac, Ambien, and Viagra."
Further proof that times, indeed, have changed. Cannabis cookbook author Sandy Moriarty (a name Jack Kerouac can surely get behind), has a non-growing tumor in her skull. That, combined with high blood pressure, gives her excruciating headaches. "The cannabis complements my blood pressure medication that keeps my pressure down, and I don't get headaches," she says. The obvious next step? Writing a cookbook, of course.
6. The Informer: Medical Marijuana Food Items Go Unregulated In Los Angeles
The Weekly's own Dennis Romero discovers that if you put marijuana in food, it is classified as medicine, and thus, not subject to inspection from the California Department of Public Health. "This is a loophole big enough to drive a lunch truck through. We joked to county Department of Environmental Health specialist Nick Brakband and if we sold sandwiches with aspirin inside we could avoid the health inspectors who normally keep a close eye on sandwich shops.
He said, yeah, something like that."
5. L.A. Times Blog: Marijuana Lollipops for Sale on Lakers Parade Route
It was only a matter of time, right? With the myriad food trucks setting up shop around the city, we shouldn't be surprised to learn that there's a medical marijuana lollipop truck making the rounds too. This one, however, was handing out freebies at the Lakers championship parade to anyone with a marijuana prescription. Insert "keep that truck away from Lamar Odom" joke here.
4. The Village Voice Blog: Medical Marijuana Sodas from Colorado: Fear & Loathing in Brooklyn
Robert Siestema at the Village Voice was excited to try out some cannabis-laced sodas from Colorado while en route to a Pinoy restaurant in Bed-Stuy. As it turned out, the free samples he was sent did not contain THC. But fortunately for Siestema, there was another solution.
"When the meal concluded, we hopped back in the car and headed for Ferdie's crib (not his real name), where we knew a big bong with some of his product — homegrown in a Brooklyn closet under Gro-Lights, and truly excellent — would be waiting."
3. The Huffington Post: Michel Rouyer, French Farmer, Fined After Feeding Ducks Marijuana
One of our favorite marijuana-related food tidbits of the year did not actually involve humans eating marijuana. The Huffington Post informs us that French farmer Michel Rouyer was fined by local authorities after feeding his ducks marijuana. His reason? To get rid of their worms. Said Rouyer, "There's no better worming substance for them, a specialist advised me to do it."
We swear, it's not because we wrote it. But it was a lot of fun to call various chefs and food writers around town to ask them for their take on food and marijuana. Our favorite discussion, though, came from chef Ben Ford of Ford's Filling Station, who took a more serious look at the issue.
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"I think that substance abuse is something that we've had to fight against our entire careers. There's a lot of hardship in that, and whether something is legalized or not, is not going to have much affect on the majority of drugs we find in our kitchen."
1. The New York Times: Marijuana Fuels a New Kitchen Culture
Kim Severson at the New York Times looked at marijuana's place in the modern kitchen, and how it affects some of our country's more noteworthy chefs and food personalities, including Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Roy Choi, and Vinny Dotolo.
"Even preschool teachers unwind with a round of drinks now and then. But in professional kitchens, where the hours are long, the pace intense and the goal is to deliver pleasure, the need to blow off steam has long involved substances that are mind-altering and, often enough, illegal."